Two years ago we didn't sell Pokémon cards. We had some packs, but singles weren't something that we bought or sold. And truthfully if you asked me then if we could effectively sell Pokémon singles I probably would have said no.
But...as we always do...we listened to our customers, did our research, and found that Pokémon was HUGE. I mean, I knew the Pokémon GO game was big because I would always see folks walking around the square in Downtown Noblesville with heads buried in their phones then swiping up repeatedly. And I knew the trading card game had been around for a long time. But I didn't realize just how big the Pokémon TCG was. In hindsight I feel like I've lived a mile from the beach for years and never knew there was an ocean nearby. Crazy, really.
So, we started selling boxes and packs. Then more. Then more. And within a year we were one of the largest Pokémon sealed vendors in Indiana. We sell hundreds of boxes of every set that comes out and carry the full line of Pokémon TCG products. If you haven't been in the store, you should come check it out.
But what about the singles? Players need single cards.
In our market it felt like the customers that were asking for cards fit into two primary buckets: 1) collectors looking to open packs, grade cards, and flip online, and 2) kids looking for shiny cards to trade with friends on the school bus. These are oversimplifications, and there are certainly more types of folks that buy Pokémon cards...but to help explain our thinking I didn't really see a competitive or play-focused group in our market. So, as the thinking went...let's sell the sealed product and stay away from the singles.
But about a year ago we confirmed that the Pokémon craze wasn't a fad (as if 25 years wasn't a long enough sample size 🤦), and decided to lean into buying singles. For about 9 months we bought. We didn't sell, we just bought. That was intentional so that we could build up an inventory. Then we rolled out the now famous "Pokémon Binders." V, EX, GX, VMAX, VSTAR, Secret Rares, Trainer Galleries, and more priced from $2-$5 in colored sleeves. And our community went nuts! People loved how easy it was to look through the best cards and find their favorites. It has been so fun watching eyes light up when someone finds a Jolteon V or Charizard holo.
The first few steps in a long journey have been great. I'll share more in future posts...but suffice it to say, like Eevee, we're always evolving. We plan to lean in on singles. We plan to build out organized play. And we plan to host larger events.
After all, we gotta catch 'em all!